The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional community of 15 states with a mission to promote cooperation and integration in all fields of economic activity. In this context, the ERERA Project aims to support the implementation of a regional regulatory authority (ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority - ERERA), leading to the creation of an electricity market in order to improve cross-border exchanges and to support the national regulators for setting international exchange tariffs. This will facilitate the settlement of disputes related to cross-border power exchange, enhance regional power policy, planning as well as technical regulation and integration of the regional energy sector. The Project intends to facilitate the construction and operation of regional power generation and transmission projects to: optimise the use of natural resources in the region; reduce the vulnerability of energy systems by sharing risks; and generate economies of scale allowed by large projects. This Project was supported by AFD (EUR 2,965,084), the ECOWAS (EUR 2,537,979) and the power operators of the ECOWAS member states (EUR 1,187,568); the total project cost is EUR 8,390,631.
The EU-AITF TA grant has been used by ERERA to implement its first regulatory activities: regional benchmarking of the electricity sector, assistance to OMVS (Senegal river basin commission) and OMVG (Gambia river basin commission) to improve cross-border exchanges, assistance to national regulators for setting international exchange tariffs, and settlement of disputes, among other activities. The grant has also funded part of the staffing costs and workshops, organised in the ECOWAS member states.
The Project activities were completed in June 2013, as planned. The main achievements are: (i) ERERA has been created, installed in Accra and staffed, (ii) many formal and informal consultations with stakeholders have been carried out, (iii) a regulatory forum has been organized annually, (iv) a directive on the organisation of en electricity regional market has been approved by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, (v) ERERA has issued reports on harmonisation of contracts, third party access to the regional networks, benchmarking and market organisation.